Message from the Deputy Ministers

April 3, 2020

Dear colleagues,

We wanted to be in touch as the week draws to a close. The health and well-being of you and your families continue to be on our minds during these challenging days of COVID-19. 

Front-of-mind for many of us is simply coping day-to-day. Our workdays and routines are not what we are used to. You may have children running around the house, out of school with no access to childcare; you may be enjoying the company of your older kids who are home from university or college; you may be looking out for your parents; you may be worried for family members living abroad; and you may be grappling with the ups and downs of telework. We are all learning to adapt and find new ways of doing things. This speaks to how resilient we can be  ̶  as individuals, as communities, as family members, as neighbours, and of course, as colleagues.

We thank you sincerely for contributing to the national effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Staying at home, teleworking and physical distancing continue to be critically important, and are the right things to do to flatten the curve. We know it is not as easy as it sounds. Work is a big part of our lives, and for many of us the people we work with are like family. We know it can be hard working in isolation at our dining room tables or from our home offices. Try to remember that we are all still connected, and are still looking out for one another. You can count on the #ECCCFamily for support when you need it.

You may be interested to know that at ECCC this past week, personnel in our labs and other facilities across Canada, working with the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Office of the Chief Science Advisor, mounted an effort to collect and provide personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves and gowns, to local hospitals and police forces. Thanks to the effort of our Science and Technology and Facilities teams, this important equipment is making its way from science labs into the hands of the people who need them most at this time. We are proud to support our health professionals in their fight against COVID-19.

We continue to encourage you to review the list of available resources related to COVID-19 at the end of this message, and to check them daily. There are many tools available to support all of us, regardless of our circumstances. We have both used some of these resources at various points. They are more important than ever during these unprecedented times.

We also invite you to download the newly released Canada COVID-19 app (functional on tablets and smartphones). This is a central resource for accessing personalized, trusted, evidence-based information about the COVID-19 pandemic across Canada for the most up-to-date information, recommendations and resources.

Once again, we want to thank everyone at ECCC for coming together, especially those working hard to ensure the continuity of our critical and essential services.  We took time this week to connect with the leadership team of the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC) to recognize their continuing service to Canadians during the COVID-19 situation. For the MSC and for so many others in the department who are continuing in their roles, or stepping up to support the ECCC COVID-19 response team, we know that the past few weeks have meant putting in long hours and being flexible to quickly shifting priorities and circumstances. Your dedication, professionalism and commitment ensure that we can continue to deliver critical services for ECCC employees and Canadians, and we are deeply grateful.

We are all figuring this out together, and we know that the situation will continue to evolve. By reaching out, following health guidance, staying in touch, and offering support, the ECCC family and all Canadians will get through this together.

Take good care.

T. Christine Hogan
Deputy Minister

Martine Dubuc
Associate Deputy Minister

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